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DTH Satellite Subscribers

The home satellite program providers reeled in a first-quarter record 751,000 net new subscribers in the January-March period this year, up 52% from the number added in the same 1998 quarter. That raised the total subscriber count to 9.39 million, up 8.7% from the start of the year. For the first time EchoStar was the biggest unit gainer, as well as the percentage growth leader, adding 325,000 subs for a 16.8% increase for the quarter to a total of 2.27 million. DirecTv added 304,000 subs to raise its count by 6.8% to 4.76 million, while Primestar attracted 122,000 new subscribers for a 5.5% gain to 2.36 million. For more on the state of the home satellite market see page 58.